Suzuki Baleno – a wise alternative

 

If I say Suzuki Baleno, many of you might not know what a Baleno looks like. Well it is time to start noticing the Baleno and the rest of the Suzuki brand as they offer solid reliable vehicles at competitive prices. The Baleno (Like the Swift) competes in a heavily competitive market segment with the likes of Polo and Fiesta.

However the Baleno is slightly cheaper than the Swift which makes for a great value proposition, furthermore it’s built on Suzuki’s new chassis and which is lighter than the Swift current chassis. Less weight = Less fuel used = Smiles for Miles.

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Front Quarter

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Rear Quarter

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Side View

 

For the time being the Baleno will only be available with the normally aspirated 1.4-litre K14B petrol engine, good for 68kW and 130Nm. Keeping in mind that the Baleno only weighs around 915kg’s the 68kW is more than enough.

You also have the option of a 5-spd manual gearbox or a 4-spd auto. The auto is a bit old tech so I would suggest you rather go for the manual option.

How does it drive?

The Baleno has reasonable road holding and handling for a vehicle in this segment, the ride quality is good. All round stability is superb, the steering is weighted just right which instills confidence when cornering.

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Light Alloy Mag wheels

 

Is it practical?

Absolutely Yes, the fact that the Baleno has a similarly sized boot (339litres) and roughly the same rear seat space to cars like the VW Golf and Ford Focus makes it look even more financially appealing. Practicality is one of the Baleno’s trump cards. Suzuki has made full use of the long 2520mm wheelbase to give a genuinely large cabin that can rival the best in class for passenger space, comfort and storage space. Space in the rear is great and 3 adults should find the seating comfortable.

The front seats are comfortable and soft and offers great support that keeps you from sliding around when cornering.

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Interior Front

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Interior Rear

 

There are only 2 variants available (the GL & GLX):

The GL gets air conditioning, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, multi-function steering wheel, remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, dual airbags and ABS brakes.

The GLX adds cruise control, automatic climate control, keyless start, 16cm touch-screen, rear park distance control, and leather trim for the steering wheel, which also becomes reach-adjustable at this level.

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Steering Satellite Controls

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX – Radio

 

Current Line-up:

1.4 GL

1.4 GLX

1.4 GLX auto

 

All are sold with a four-year / 60 000km service plan and three-year / 100 000km warranty.

 

Verdict:

The Baleno is one of the most practical superminis you can buy, with a big boot and plenty of space in the back. It handles and drive well. There’s a decent amount of standard safety equipment and Suzuki has a good reputation for reliability.

 

For more info visit: http://blog.suzukiauto.co.za/suzuki-baleno

 

 

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Murray Kroucamp

Murray Kroucamp Has a passion for cars and the wonderful world of motoring journalism. Background includes: Regulatory liaison; Customer Experience Executive Complaints Management; Data analyst. Founded the Mazda 2 Owners page on Facebook in 2008. Founded Murray’s Car Reviews (South Africa) on Facebook in 2015 which has around 800 active members. Also started writing car reviews on Linkedin in 2017. Working on turning the hobby into a profession.

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